The All Blacks could lose one of their leading players to rugby league as early as next year - with star loose forward Ardie Savea considering a sensational switch to the NRL.
The 44-test Hurricanes star made the shock announcement during an interview with former Warrior Isaac John on the Ice Project podcast.
Savea, who was one of the standout All Blacks during last year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, is still recovering from a serious knee injury sustained in the semifinal defeat to England.
Asked by John if he was considering a move to the NRL, Savea said he was "low-key thinking about it for next year".
"100 per cent I want to play rugby league, I think they do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff... and also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself," Savea said.
"Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union, if I can do that in league, excites me. Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Williams, former All Blacks teammate] do it and how that's benefited him that kind of pondered my mind."
Williams has just completed a return to league with the Toronto Wolfpack, after 10 years playing union, in a deal reportedly worth $10 million.
Savea wouldn't be joining the Warriors, though.
"Strategically I would go to a team that's good...that's dominating, like the [Melbourne] Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters," Savea said.